Friday, February 17, 2017

Logan

For the past seventeen years, the films in the X-Men franchise have largely stuck to the family-friendly PG-13 rating. But it's clear from the opening frames that Logan, which is arguably the most violent R-rated superhero movie ever made, obviously isn't interested in courting that family audience. This is made specifically for fans who thought the previous films didn't go far enough in depicting the carnage in which Wolverine often finds himself embroiled, and if you consider yourself one of those fans, you're going to go nuts for this movie. If not...well, your mileage may vary.

Logan
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

John Wick: Chapter 2

With its long takes, wide shots of intensely choreographed action sequences, and proliferation of headshots, 2014's John Wick was hailed as an action movie classic the moment it was released. It was going to take a considerable effort from director Chad Stahelski to top it with a follow-up, but thankfully, John Wick: Chapter 2 is the best sequel fans could have possibly hoped for. It builds on everything that happened in the first movie, expands the franchise's fascinating mythology, and, of course, ups the ante with visceral, jaw-dropping action scenes. This movie rules.

John Wick: Chapter 2
Director: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Common, Ruby Rose, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne


Friday, December 16, 2016

Passengers

Sony is purposefully obscuring a key factor of this movie that isn't so much a shocking reveal as it is the major driving force of the plot. This action occurs very early on in the film, but it's not even hinted at in any of the trailers, so if you don't want to know about it, stop reading now. Consider yourselves warned.

Passengers is a $150 million sci-fi film based on an original idea. It has slick production design, cool visual effects, and it features two of the biggest, hottest movie stars in the world in Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. It's a film that seemingly has everything going for it, but the film can't quite escape the feeling that it's less a modern day blockbuster and more like a '90s movie you'd see in constant rotation on TNT. It has a handful of decent moments, but despite the efforts of everyone involved, there's a hurdle in the story the movie can't quite leap — and it's a doozy.

Passengers
Director: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Star Wars has been a cultural landmark for almost forty years, but it took until 2016 to finally get a movie in the franchise that doesn't once utter the name "Skywalker." It's refreshing in that regard, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first film to spin-off from the main saga, has been hyped as a "standalone" movie, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Rogue One does not and cannot stand alone — it's often paralyzingly dependent on the audience's knowledge of the events of A New Hope. Still, the good moments outweigh the bad, and if nothing else, the film showcases flashes of the potential these spin-off movies have to expand the franchise's universe beyond the actions of its most important family.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Director: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn